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July 11, 2002
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Sir Bob Geldof has spoken out to justify his controversial anti-euro stance and in defence of his credentials as a fully-fledged European citizen.

The rock star and human rights campaigner was in Brussels to pick up a music industry award, but with feelings running high over whether or not Britain should enter the euro, he soon found himself defending his part in a much-criticised pro-sterling advertisement currently showing in cinemas.

The ad, which features Sir Bob and comedian Rik Mayall, has been termed offensive because it portrays Rik dressed as Hitler, declaring, "Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!" (One people, one empire, one euro).

Sir Bob defended the ad, saying that Rik is an "anarchist comedian" and that artists should be free to say and do as they like. He found the ad funny, he said.

However, "to be against the euro is not to be anti-European," he insisted in an interview with Reuters Television in Brussels. "I'm Irish. My grandparents were Belgian, German, English and Irish. They were Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. I married a Welsh woman. We had English children. I live with a French girl. I luckily have flats in London, Paris and Rome."

He went on to point out that he does business on a daily basis in euros and has toured Europe for 27 years. But with regard to Britain joining the single currency, he says, "I think it serves Britain's interests better to remain outside and wait and see."

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Photo: ©
Sir Bob in the anti-euro advert, which has stirred controversy because of its reference to Nazism
Photo: ©
The rock-star-turned-campaigner has defended the ad, but also his own credentials as a European, insisting, "To be against the euro is not to be anti-European"
Photo: ©
Sir Bob points out he does business in euros on a daily basis, but that, "I think it serves Britain's interests better to remain outside and wait and see"

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